You are on page 1of 5

Principles of Good Teaching Based on the Educational Philosophy of John Dewey

Principles of Good Teaching Based on the Educational Philosophy of John Dewey
(Acero, et al., 2000)
(a) Teaching is good when it is based on the psychology of learning. This is based on the concept
that the child is made the center of the educative process. The nature of the child and the nature
of the learning process and the laws that govern its operation determine the type of teaching
to be done by the teacher.
Good teaching is as much about passion as it is about reason. It's about not only motivating students to learn, but teaching
them how to learn, and doing so in a manner that is relevant, meaningful, and memorable. It's about caring for your craft,
having a passion for it, and conveying that passion to everyone, most importantly to your students.
Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to
past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.
(b)

·

Teaching is good when it is well-planned such that the activities and experiences of the learner are continuously related
and interrelated into larger, more meaningful, more inclusive, relation patterns.
Good teaching is about substance and treating students as consumers of knowledge. It's about doing your best to keep on
top of your field, reading sources, inside and outside of your areas of expertise, and being at the leading edge as often as
possible. But knowledge is not confined to scholarly journals. Good teaching is also about bridging the gap between
theory and practice. It's about leaving the ivory tower and immersing oneself in the field, talking to, consulting with, and
assisting practitioners, and liaisoning with their communities.
Schedule time for planning and preparation.

·

Know what students need to know, what is essential and what is nice but not necessary.

·

Know your students and be aware of their individual differences in motivation, interest, etc.

·

Diagnosis: Find out what students already know.

·

Prescription: Select appropriate learning objectives, not too easy and not too hard.

·

Collect appropriate materials and curriculum.

·

Prerequisites: Determine if children have the skills they need to succeed at a new task. If not, teach the prerequisites
first.

·

Task analysis: Break assignments into "bite-sized" pieces, small sequential steps.

·

Timing: Do not introduce too much at once. Step by tiny step will maximize success.

·

Readiness: To check for readiness, offer tryout activities and adjust expectations as needed.

·

Early success: Plan carefully to ensure early success when introducing something very new.

·

Prepare checklists or contracts so students know exactly what is expected of them.

(c ) Teaching is good when the learner is made conscious of the goals or aims to be accomplished. This concept calls for proper
motivation.
Create clear student learning goals for each course, unit, and class period. Structure the course unit and lesson with these
goals in mind.
The identification and articulation of the learning goals and objectives provides the foundation for the instructional design,
development, delivery, and assessment of an educational event. These defined goals serve as the contract between the
instructor and student, defining what is to be taught and what is to be learned. Communicating these learning goals is a
crucial step in assuring an effective learning experience.
Specific instructional activities should be directed toward providing learners with the necessary skills, knowledge, or
experiences to meet the goals and objectives of the course. The course content should be sequenced and structured to
enable learners to achieve the goals articulated in the learning outcomes.
When learners interact with one another, with an instructor, and with ideas, new information is acquired, interpreted, and
made meaningful. Such interactions form the foundation of a community of learners. If students feel they are part of a
community of learners, they are more apt to be motivated to seek solutions to their problems and to succeed.

· Move from known to unknown. to every student. Students need the opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. but at the same time with reference to what he might become. Good teaching is also about bridging the gap between theory and practice. It's about pushing students to excel. questioning. at the same time. Then they can be pushed to learning in ways that do not come so easily. being responsive. consulting with. · Move from simple to complex. Brilliant students in the seminar room may be all thumbs in the lab or art studio. Good teaching requires a rich environment of instructional materials and devices. and liaisoning with their communities. This is based on the principles that the best learning takes place when a greater number of senses are stimulated and utilized in the process. and preparing materials to still further enhance instruction. This is based on the psychological principle that individuals differ from each other in their learning potential. so that the ice breaks and students learn in a more relaxed atmosphere where you. and fair play. Good teaching is about caring. what they still need to know. Teaching is good when the method used is supplemented by another method and instructional devices. It is an accepted fact that good method is a synthesis of many methods. stimulate thinking.good teaching is about humor. and assisting practitioners. Students need appropriate feedback on performance to benefit from courses. This means that learning is easier when you start from what the pupils already know. Good teaching is about not always having a fixed agenda and being rigid. · Objective: State and have students state the objective. In democratic teaching. It's about eliciting responses and developing the oral communication skills of the quiet students. Prepare thoroughly for the whole course. and each lesson.(d) Learning is good when it provides learning experiences or situations that will insure understanding. and having the confidence to react and adjust to changing circumstances. students need help in assessing existing knowledge and competence. This is very important -. cooperation. tolerance. mostly at your own expense. (e) Teaching is good when there is provision to meet individual differences. Do not include non-essential information or distractors. Knowing what you know and don't know focuses learning. Generalization of facts learned is important in teaching for transfer. experimenting. and being professional at all times. talking to. Good teaching is about the creative balance between being an authoritarian dictator on the one hand and a pushover on the other. Students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. and being at the leading edge as often as possible. social relationship is placed on a plane of natural respect. · Prove an overview or outline of the lesson or unit. (g) (h) (i) · Teaching is good when the learner is stimulated to think and to reason. unit. · Purpose: Why is this important to learn? · Transfer: How does this relate to what you already know? Help students organize and connect new knowledge to old. the learners are free from emotional tension. · Show enthusiasm and interest. In classes. It's also about the thankless hours of grading. People bring different talents and styles of learning. . There are many roads to learning. Good teaching is about listening. It's about leaving the ivory tower and immersing oneself in the field. and how to assess themselves. Effective teaching involves differentiation and integration or analysis and synthesis. It's about being self-deprecating and not taking yourself too seriously. This concept is based on the principle of apperception. like them. fluid. It's about doing your best to keep on top of your field. Teaching is good when it is governed by democratic principles. At various points. inside and outside of your areas of expertise. · Review related concepts. It's often about making innocuous jokes. It's about devoting time. But knowledge is not confined to scholarly journals. are human with your own share of faults and shortcomings. and developing minds and talents. and facilitate understanding which make learning more meaningful. Teaching to be effective must be governed by love and understanding. nurturing. Ask questions of the material that your students are also likely to have. Move from whole to part to whole. In other words. designing or redesigning courses. students need frequent opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement. Good teaching is about substance and treating students as consumers of knowledge. · Clearly present information. it's about being human. In getting started. teaching must treat the learner as he is. equipment and supplies beforehand. The best teaching method is that which liberates and encourages thinking. Gather materials. It's about getting only 10 percent of what you wanted to do in a class done and still feeling good. and remembering that each student and class is different. often invisible. respecting others. (f) Teaching is good when it utilizes the past experiences of the learner. students need chances to reflect on what they have learned. but being flexible. Instructional materials and devices will challenge the attention of the learner. To be effective. and at the end. It's about deviating from the course syllabus or lecture schedule easily when there is more and better learning elsewhere. reading sources. vocabulary and ideas.

student contracts or checklists. · Self-discipline. · Check for understanding frequently. · Adjust the level of questions to student ability. · Adequate practice is provided to ensure mastery. · Generous feedback is given early on. It is "practice without penalty" and receives no grades or marks. Assessment instruments and activities should be congruent with the learning goals and should be consistent with the skills required of the learner throughout the learning process. summarize or have the child summarize what was learned. · Closure: At the end of a lesson. conferences. Provide prompt feedback with reasons. diligence and timeliness are emphasized and rewarded. The purpose of review is to bring out relationships of facts learned to give new view or new meaning. · Grades are essentially comparative and punitive. · Actively involve students. · Guided practice is closely monitored. Practice is less frequent after initial instruction but continues until mastery is achieved. · Informal evaluation takes place constantly. · "Mental practice" is encouraged. Aim for at least 80% success. · A method exists to keep track of goals and achievements. Evaluation measures the effectiveness of teaching and learning and completes the function which is essential in teaching. The teacher must bear in mind that drill and review have different meanings and functions. · Students are not distracted during practice time. to identify areas for review. characteristics. Evaluation is part and parcel of teaching. · The teacher is accountable to someone for diligently pursuing goals and plans. Better to keep a running list of accomplishments. · Directions for practice are clear. Teaching is meaningful only when the results of teaching are achieved. and to reestablish immediate learning or lesson goals. they measure achievement of learning goals. · Feedback: Use criticism sparingly. Assessment and measurement serve valuable purposes for both instructors and students because they provide information on learner progress. · Evaluation is used as a basis for selecting future objectives. (k) Teaching is good when drill or review is made an integral part of teaching and learning. · Review and reteach as often as necessary. (j) Teaching is good when evaluation is made an integral part of the teaching process. · Practice is distributed over time. Assessment and measurement strategies should accommodate the special needs.· Model or demonstrate examples as well as non-examples. . and situations of the learner. Use variety. Examples: plan book. · Students should have about an 80% success rate before independent practice is assigned. · Formal evaluation (testing) is used as needed so that students can demonstrate their mastery. · Guided practice: Closely monitor practice in the early stages of learning. · Students are held responsible for completing work on time and doing a quality job. · Practice is directly related to the lesson objective. and they provide learners with benchmarks for monitoring their progress and adjusting their learning strategies. Assessment and measurement strategies should be employed as integral parts of the learning experience--enabling learners to assess their progress.

Effective teaching involves articulating explicit expectations regarding learning objectives and policies. and (c) guide instructional adaptations (e. Effective teaching involves adopting appropriate teaching roles to support our learning goals. (b) setting our priorities for student learning. so it is necessary for us to make decisions – sometimes difficult ones – about what we will and will not include in a course.. we want to try something new. and (c) the assessments (e. the knowledge and skills that we expect students to demonstrate by the end of a course) gives students a clear target to aim for and enables them to monitor their progress along the way. Too many topics work against student learning. We need to continually reflect on our teaching and be ready to make changes when appropriate (e.g. Though it is difficult for experts to do this. synthesizer. Effective teaching involves recognizing and overcoming our expert blind spots. what is permissible collaboration in one course could be considered cheating in another. 1. Altogether. we tend to access and apply knowledge automatically and unconsciously (e. as instructors. Such roles may be constant or variable across the semester depending on the learning objectives. (b) help explain student difficulties (e. we teach students the content.Teaching Principles Carnegie Mellon Teaching is a complex. being explicit leads to a more productive learning environment for all students. guide and moderate a discussion.. or . readings) support these learning objectives by providing goal-oriented practice. commentator). decisions about objectives. Teaching is more effective and student learning is enhanced when (a) we.e. Students. Effective teaching involves prioritizing the knowledge and skills we choose to focus on. 7. and instructional activities. we need to identify and explicitly communicate to students the knowledge and skills we take for granted. As a result. on class participation.g. recognition of the need for additional practice). often requiring us as instructors to juggle multiple tasks and goals simultaneously and flexibly. examples.g. class size.. We can take on a variety of roles in our teaching (e. and late assignment) in the syllabus and in class allows us to resolve differences early and tends to reduce conflicts and tensions that may arise. draw incorrect conclusions. it often saves time and energy later on. draw on relevant bodies of knowledge. performances) provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and practice the knowledge and skills articulated in the objectives. what constitutes evidence may differ greatly across courses. the roles we assume as instructors are critical in guiding students’ thinking and behavior. tests. For example. They need instructors to break tasks into component steps. problem sets. the knowledge and skills that we expect students to demonstrate by the end of a course).g. case studies. students’ expectations may not match ours. discussions. if the objective is for students to be able to analyze arguments from a case or written text. Although we cannot adequately measure all of these characteristics. Taking the time to do this upfront saves time in the end and leads to a better course. format). Coverage is the enemy: Don’t try to do too much in a single course. the student population has changed. don’t yet have sufficient background and experience to make these leaps and can become confused. These roles should be chosen in service of the learning objectives and in support of the instructional activities.g. For example.. Even though students are ultimately responsible for their own learning. identification of common misconceptions).. or fail to develop important skills. so that students can see expert thinking in action and practice applying it themselves.e. course position in the curriculum sequence. the most productive instructor role might be to frame. assessments. our role might be to challenge them to explain their decisions and consider alternative perspectives. (b) the instructional activities (e. Thus.. We are not our students! As experts.. pacing. 3. Effective teaching involves acquiring relevant knowledge about students and using that knowledge to inform our course design and classroom teaching. When we teach. disciplinary backgrounds lead students to approach problems in different ways. This involves (a) recognizing the parameters of the course (e. and students’ prior knowledge (both accurate and inaccurate aspects) shapes new learning. number of course units). Effective teaching involves aligning the three major components of instruction: learning objectives. and for instructors to offer targeted feedback that can guide further learning. There is amazing variation in what is expected of students across American classrooms and even within a given discipline. and (c) determining a set of objectives that can be reasonably accomplished..g. More information on how clear learning objectives supports students' learning... Articulating our learning objectives (i. papers. 2. Similarly. explain connections explicitly. gathering the most relevant information as early as possible in course planning and continuing to do so during the semester can (a) inform course design (e. something is not working. Effective teaching involves progressively refining our courses based on reflection and feedback. students’ backgrounds and experiences. and policies. content. laptop use.g. If the objective is to help students learn to defend their positions or creative choices as they present their work. challenger. The following small but powerful set of principles can make teaching both more effective and more efficient. labs. by helping us create the conditions that support student learning and minimize the need for revising materials.g. and model processes in detail. and choose appropriate strategies) and so we often skip or combine critical steps when we teach.g. Teaching requires adapting.g. While implementing these principles requires a commitment in time and effort.. 5. For example. on the other hand. articulate a clear set of learning objectives (i. students’ cultural and generational backgrounds influence how they see the world. moderator.. being clear about our expectations and communicating them explicitly helps students learn more and perform better. being explicit about course policies (e. (pdf) 4. multifaceted activity. make connections. we do not just teach the content. A variety of student characteristics can affect learning. 6.

Much of this information already exists (e. structure.and posttests).there are emerging issues in our fields). or we may need to seek additional feedback with help from the university teaching center (e. purposeful changes driven by feedback and our priorities are most likely to be manageable and effective. Based on such data. dynamics of class participation). interpreting early course evaluations. .g. previous semesters’ course evaluations. or format of a course.g. we might modify the learning objectives. conducting focus groups. content. or otherwise adjust our teaching... designing pre. Knowing what and how to change requires us to examine relevant information on our own teaching effectiveness. Small. student work.